Single on Valentine’s Day?

Some single people barely register Valentine’s Day, seeing it as a cynical commercial affair, or something for lovesick teenagers. However, for others, this celebration of romance, with hearts and flowers everywhere you look, can serve as a painful reminder that you’re not in a relationship – something for which you may have longed for many years. When all the couples around you are celebrating their relationships, it can make you feel lonelier than ever.

If you struggle with Valentine’s Day, you may find the best approach is not to try to ignore it, but instead to do something proactive to shape the day into something positive for you. Here are our top 10 suggestions for surviving and thriving as a single person on Valentine’s Day…

1. Acknowledge your feelings – and count your blessings

If you feel sadness and grief at your lack of a relationship, it’s okay to acknowledge that. For many people, not being married can lead to a kind of long-term bereavement. It can help if you allow yourself time to feel your deepest emotions and bring them to God in prayer. Then make a list of the positives you have in your life – including things you may not have if you were married with children – and give thanks for them one by one.

2. Treat yourself

If you don’t have someone in your life to spoil you – spoil yourself for a day! You could buy yourself some flowers or chocolates, a new item of clothing or a book you’ve been wanting, or perhaps a nice bottle of wine. Buying yourself a little gift will give you a feelgood lift. So treat yourself – you deserve it.

‘Every year, I buy myself a bunch of roses on Valentine’s Day (usually discounted by the time I get them on my way home from work!). It might sound a bit sad, but actually I really enjoy seeing a vase of beautiful roses in my kitchen – a little luxury to brighten up my week.’ Hope

3. Plan a summer holiday

A good way to cheer yourself up is to gather some brochures or go online and research some holiday destinations. It makes the dark days of February easier too, with some sunshine on the horizon to look forward to. There are a number of Christian companies that offer package holidays, some of which are designed specifically for solo travellers (others are aimed at anyone but often attract singles). Here are some companies you may want to check out (Single Friendly Church cannot endorse any company, so please do your research and decide what’s best for you):

Christian Guild: www.christianguild.co.uk

Oak Hall: www.oakhall.co.uk

Richmond: www.richmond-holidays.com

Gold Hill Holidays: www.goldhillholidays.co.uk

Christian Endeavour Holiday Centres: www.christianholidays.co.uk

4. Get together with friends

Does being alone on Valentine’s Day get you down? If you have single friends or colleagues (or people who have partners but are alone that day), how about arranging an evening together? If the restaurants are packed out with starry-eyed couples (and inflated prices), a pub meal or takeaway might fit the bill. Alternatively, you could get tickets for a show, concert or comedy night. It’ll give you something to look forward during the day – and time with pals is the best antidote to feeling lonely. You could also do a shout-out at church for anyone who’d like company on Valentine’s Day (but bear in mind that people have different budgets).

Last year, two friends and I had an Anti-Valentine’s Party! Well, it wasn’t so much a party as a girls’ night in with pizza and wine, but it was good fun and we didn’t think about romance all evening.’ Rachel

5. Take steps to find love (if it’s what you want)

If you’re keen to find a partner, now is a great time to take the first step, as there’s a spike in activity on dating websites around Valentine’s Day. You could use the evening to think and pray about what would be important to you in a future spouse. Then sign up, craft a great profile, and dive in – you can be chatting to other singles within minutes. If you’re already online dating but not getting the results you want, this is a good time to update your profile and pictures, and send some positive messages to other members. You can search for other Christians on a website such as www.christianconnection.co.uk.

There are also lots of Christian singles events and parties around Valentine’s Day – check out www.eventsforchristians.co.uk.

6. Make it a family event

If you have children, you could plan a fun night with them around the theme of love. For instance, you can make cards for each other, bake cupcakes and ice them with hearts, or draw pictures of the people you love and write a prayer for them. A nice idea is to write notes saying what you love about each other, and put them in a jar to open later. Valentine’s doesn’t have to be about romantic love – it can be a celebration of all love.

‘Every year, my children make Valentine’s cards at school, which they present to me in the evening. We sometimes have a themed teatime, with a heart-shaped cake and heart-shaped confetti on the table. It’s fun!’ Rosie

7. Have a pamper evening

If you’re alone for the evening, you could make it a pamper night, when you give yourself some loving attention and minister to yourself. How about a bath with fragrant oils, music and candles? A professional massage? A facial and manicure at a spa or beauty salon? Or perhaps a takeaway, a good glass of wine and a favourite boxset is more your style. Whatever is relaxing and enjoyable for you, give yourself permission to indulge yourself for a night.

8. Find new friends

If your social life needs a boost, you could spend Valentine’s evening researching local interest groups, evening courses or volunteering opportunities. Websites like www.meetup.com are great for finding clubs and groups near you, which are an excellent way of meeting new people with similar interests. This is the perfect time to expand your friendship circle – you might even meet someone special.

‘When I moved to a new area, the village church only had about 20 members, all of whom were married or pensioners, and I struggled to make friends. So I found a local cycling group. We meet up every Saturday to ride, and also do social outings several times a year. It’s been a great way to meet people.’ Robert

9. Spread some love

One of the best ways to feel happy is to do something for someone else – so look for opportunities to spread love to others. If you know someone who is housebound, ill or lonely, or going through a hard time, you could arrange to visit them for the evening. Take them a treat, such as a box of cookies, and show them they’re loved and valued.

10. Spend time with God

Even if you don’t have a significant other, as Christians we know there’s someone to whom we’re always significant: our heavenly Father. Even when we feel lonely, we’re never truly alone – God is with us. You may find it helpful to spend the evening praying, praising God, reading an encouraging Christian book, or meditating on some Bible verses about God’s love for you. Allow yourself to revel in his love, and ask him to help you feel his love every day.

When I feel lonely or low, I put on some worship music and sing along, praising God. I always feel better afterwards – and I’m reminded that God is with me.’ John

 

With thanks to: Hope, John, Rachel, Robert and Rosie.

Catherine Francis, 1 February 2018